We made it to another country! Mauritania! For the since our last blog we have been cycling through the desert of the Western Sahara or Sahawia as it is known to the locals. The landscape is spectacularly stark and unchanging, dry sandy scrub as far as the eye can see in every direction, only occasionally changing when we caught sight of the sea or saw a phone mast. There were petrol stations or small towns every 100miles or so where we filled our water bottles and bought food before once again heading out into the sandy abyss. We cycled long distances every day due to a ferocious tail wind that could push us to over 10mph without the need to peddle. The perfectly flat landscape also helped us to cover over 60 or 70 miles before midday, we had most afternoons off the bikes relaxing or chatting with the few local people that we met. One evening we ate with 2 fishermen who played music in a stringed instrument made from a piece of driftwood and a plastic bottle, another evening we ate lobster in a half built café. Other evenings were spent hiding from the unceasing wind and trying to remove the sand from our ears!
We are getting good at cooking, even using fresh ingredients to cook source for or pasta and couscous! It sometimes even tasted good!
We crossed the border from the Morocco and the Western Sahara into Mauritania mid day yesterday and cycled as far as the town of Nouadhabiou 30 miles south of the border. We decided to have a day off to relax after crossing half the Sahara so have spent today snoozing and doing much needed washing!
The next week will take us through the remaining 400 miles of the Sahara through Mauritania down to Senegal and out of the sand. It is fast approaching the wet season in Senegal and The Gambia so we will soon be getting very wet. I guess it‘s about time as we have had hardly any rain for 2.5 months!
Unfortunately our mobile phones do not appear to work in Mauritania so we will not be able to send our GPS updates to the map over the next few days. We will ensure we are able to update the map and check into the website when we reach Nouakchott in 4-5 days time.